The radio in my car is usually set to listen to NPR. About a month ago, when I started my car, the station had been changed (I had been out of town and couldn’t get my favorite station). What came on the air was Hawaiian music. My heart melted and ached to be in Hawaii. It has been a place of nurturing and rest for me over the years and I could feel that I needed that again.
I had many logical reasons why I couldn’t go to Hawaii this year. Money. Time. My brain and my heart were having a disagreement on this subject. Who’s going to win?
While carrying out this inner argument, I remembered several ideas I’ve read recently. When I get the same message from several unrelated sources, I have learned to pay attention to it.
John Mayfield, in his book Body Intelligence, says that our first feeling about something is our innate intuition. He says we often have an immediate reaction in our body that lasts for only a second or two and if we don’t pause and feel that first feeling, it can disappear. In this situation, I had definitely noticed my first feeling. My body wanted to go to Hawaii.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book blink, talks about an experiment in which they found that the subjects were 30% less likely to solve a problem that required insight or intuition when they were asked to explain the rational reasons for their decisions. In some situations, we are more likely to make good decisions when we don’t try to give a rational explanation. He says “that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.”
Both of these authors seemed to be supporting that the heart should trump the head. When I got home that night, I did some research and discovered that one of my favorite places to stay in Kauai was available as a trade for my timeshare condominium. I’ve been looking for that for about 10 years. It felt like confirmation from the Universe that I should go. I made reservations.
Other parts of the trip have fallen into place with synchronicity and I am going to Kauai in March/April. It’s been years since I’ve taken a vacation and my mind is finally giving up the battle. Rational reasoning isn’t what is important here. My heart won this one and I feel like the weight of life’s decisions has gotten lighter.
What is often supported in our society is science, research, and rational thinking. If we give rational thinking the final word, at the expense of ignoring our heart’s longings, we will suffer. Our bodies will give us stronger and stronger messages until we learn to trust ourselves. What are your feelings about this?
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In the spirit of healing,
Jan Adrian, MSW
Founder and Executive Director